We are a medium size company building a blockchain application that requires us to interact with the Bitcoin blockchain (+ several other cryptocurrencies). One option is for us to use a 3rd party service that provides us with a uniform API to interact with the blockchain (some examples are BitPay, BlockCypher, BitGo & CoinPayments). The other option is to self host the blockchain node on our servers and natively interact with the blockchain (no middleman involved).
If we go with 3rd party services there’s usually a monthly fee and/or a small percentage charged for each withdrawal (between 0.25% - 1%). So this would be one big downside of going with a 3rd party service. On the other hand, if we host the blockchain ourselves we would be required to perform ongoing maintenance, server upgrades, implement extra security protocols and so on.
A colleague warned me that for every coin we wish to support, we will be required to hire a dedicated expert developer to maintain each node at a cost of $40,000 per year per node
To be clear, we are not concerned about the initial setup of the nodes as we have expert developers who will assist us with that. Our primary concern is related to the ongoing costs to maintain, upgrade, debug and deal with ongoing security concerns of running a large number of nodes on our own server.
It is cheaper for us to hire a developer who will setup all the nodes on our server vs. paying a monthly fee and/or withdrawal fee. Our only concern is related to the long term maintenance costs associated with self hosting nodes.
Are the concerns of my colleague valid or unfounded? Are there valid reasons to believe we will regret self hosting in the long term due to ongoing maintenance costs? If so, what are some issues that we are overlooking with self hosting?
I did see this SE answer that partially addressees this issue. However, a big part of the answer is focused on the initial setup costs of self hosting:
Using RPC calls to your local bitcoin node requires then some developer knowledge, or a dev-team. That can add to costs in setting up your environment
As I stated in my question, this is NOT really a concern for us. Our only concern is related to the ongoing costs of self hosting vs. using 3rd party service.